We have had a fabulous time discussing Penguins at school. I haven’t had a chance to share all of the wonderful things we did during our Penguin unit. The first few days we looked closely at pictures I had printed from Antarctica images I found online. We talked about how different this environment looked compared to where we live. The pictures were hung up on our Penguin chart for children to look at further during choice time. We read some fabulous Penguin fiction and non-fiction books.
The children especially liked the book, The Emperor’s Egg pictured below. After reading the book we waddled, huddled, dove, and acted like the penguins we had been reading about. I also found a very large plastic Easter egg. Each child tried holding the plastic egg between their feet just like the Daddy Emperor Penguins. Above is a picture of D standing in front of our drawing of the Emperor Penguin. We measured each child and of course me too to see who was taller than the male Emperor Penguin. Only I was taller! Very interesting!
We did two different penguin art projects. One was stamping the penguin with sponges. At the end of the stamping the children glued on the penguins eyes, beak and feet.
Below is a picture of our invitation to paint a penguin. I had black, white, and orange paint set out for each child. Then I collected some of our non-fiction penguin books for them to look at more closely while they were painting. Once many of the children got started with their painting they kept talking about the Macaroni Penguin. I didn’t have a real photograph of one, but I did have Eric Carle’s book with the Macaroni Penguin inside it. I quickly grabbed the book, and a few of the children painted a macaroni penguin instead. I need to take a picture of their paintings, because they are quite impressive!
A few weeks ago I made a large “Artic” Sensory bin. The children were mostly interested in the penguins and the Polar Bears. Here is L looking in the water and finding different animals to look at more closely.
I also had Polar Bears out with the acrylic ice cubes as a table invitation. I decided they might look really neat on the light table, so I shifted the bears to the light table for a few days as well!
After our artic bin had been explored, I changed it to just a penguin sensory bin. I still had water, penguins, Styrofoam to be ice burgs, but I added gems to be fish for the penguins and a sorting try to sort the gems or penguins into.
Another table invitation to play was the Emperor Penguins from Safari Ltd, Epsom salt, gems, acrylic ice cubes, and paint brushes. The children did a lot of exploring with this tray! They made it snow on the penguins, painted or made trails in the salt with the paint brushes, and also used the gems to enhance their play stories.
Here is P exploring another table invitation that was set up during our Penguin unit. I have the Play Mobil Penguin Zoo exhibit. This was a hit! Every child took a lot of time to play with this tray! There is a dish that slips into the Penguin tray and can be filled with water. They fed the penguins, slide them down the slides, and even visited the zoo as the little boy.
We also sorted types of Penguins using a penguin matching game I made. They loved learning the different types of penguins and where they lived in the world!